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Yankees designate Vernon Wells for assignment

Jan 10, 2014, 1:40 PM EDT

New York Yankees' Wells hits two-run home run against Kansas City Royals in their MLB American League baseball game in Kansas City Reuters

Buster Olney of reports that the Yankees have designated Vernon Wells for assignment, dropping the veteran outfielder from the 40-man roster and exposing him to the waiver wire.

Wells got off to a great start in New York, but ended up hitting just .233 with 11 homers and a .631 OPS in 130 games overall. He hasn’t topped a .700 OPS since 2010 and the Yankees had even less use for him than before after signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.

He’ll almost surely pass through waivers unclaimed because in addition to Wells being horrible for three years in a row no team will want anything to do with his remaining contract (although most of it is being paid by one of his now three former teams).

  1. uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Not a surprise at all. Since he didn’t count for any dollars against the Yankees 2014 payroll for MLB AAV luxury tax purposes it was a no brainer.

    • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Yeah, the Yanks are on the hook for only $2.4 mil. It furthers the notion that the Yanks were never serious about the luxury tax thing. But since the Angels are footing most of the bill, look for Wells to find work somewhere, since he would only cost the minimum.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        That’s true about the $2.4MM they owe him but based on the way MLB calculates the luxury tax and what the Angels are paying him the tax effect for the Yankees is ZERO dollars.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        No, I get that, thought I had made that clear, but I guess not. The Yanks are still going to have to part with a couple other guys, even with the Rodriguez suspension, if they sign pitchers and a third baseman. I wonder who?

      • zacksdad - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        Never liked the trade the Angels did for this guy. They have many bad trades, but this has to be up to the top of worse ones.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        spudchukar, I’m not sure the Yankees will sign a 3rd baseman even if A-Rod gets a long suspension. My guess is they will give Nunez a real shot at it to start and take it from their. As for if they sign a starter without that happening via a trade my guess is it one of the borderline prospects like Nik Turley that are on the 40 man roster or possibly either one of the LOOGY’s: Huff or Cabral my guess of the 2 it might be Huff.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        Seems to me the problem with inserting Nunez at third is, who then spells Jeter or plays third if Nunez moves over to SS?

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        @ spudchukar, it’s Ryan that will spell Jeter if he gets hurt that’s why they signed Ryan. I think between Johnson/Roberts and Nunez they could hold down 2nd and 3rd base until A-Rod returns from whatever suspension he gets. The Yankees also have some guys on the roster like Anna that they can call up in a pinch to fill in on spot duty if necessary.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        Oh yeah, my bad, spaced on Ryan. But a line-up that features, Ellsbury, Gardner, Nunez, Ryan, Roberts, and some days Cervelli, isn’t exactly going to strike fear in the opposition.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        @ spudchukar, probably not if you assume Nunez, Ryan, Roberts and Cervelli are all starting the same game(s). BTW, Nunez offensively isn’t that bad it’s his defense and more specifically his throwing that makes most Yankees fans cringe, not his offense.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        No I agree about Nunez and his offense. But McCann and Jeter can only start 120 games max, and that leaves days when both will be riding the pine.

        Ideally, it would be different days, but then Beltran will need lots of days off too, and often 2 of the three won’t be in the starting line-up.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        My friend we cross that bridge when we get to it.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Not if Christy has anything to say about it.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        Ah, if I’ve learned anything over the years it never to discuss or mix politics with sports.

      • cackalackyank - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        The real issue is not who is spelling Jeter etc. The real issue is, who is the backup for Tex at 1B, now. The depth chart featured Wells in that mix along with Kelly Johnson. Johnson, however is also the guy likely to get the call while A-rod is suspended. Nothing is ever carved in stone but Nunez has time and again proved a nightmare in the field at short, and I could be disremembering, but I think he is even worse at 3rd. I think the odds of Mark Reynolds or Michael Young becoming Yankee a just increased.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Those are the most obvious options, but Reynolds has become a first base guy and Young is almost as bad if not worse at third. Whoever the Yanks sign to bolster their pitching staff, it had better not be a sinker ball specialist.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        @ cackalackyank, either one would be adequate role players for 1st base. They are both decent defensive 1st baseman. Reynolds provides more power, Young provides better OBP and far fewer K’s but Young is likely to be more expensive. The most I would pay either of them is $3MM on a 1 year deal.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:42 PM

        @ spudchukar, actually according to baseball-reference Young is a better defensive option for 3rd base than Reynolds. According to their numbers Reynolds is pretty bad, Young is at least serviceable as a role player I think. I wouldn’t want to count on him full time but as a spot starter for 3rd base with his primary duties being 1st base backup for Tex he’s passable in my opinion.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Yeah, I tend to agree with you there. The one strength other than versatility that Young offers is durability. The low hanging fruit comment, of course, is that he sucks no matter where he plays, but I think he is the best option.

        It would help if the Yanks would learn the extent of the Rodriguez suspension.

      • scyankee64 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Does anyone think they’ll use McCann to back up Teix? I mean assuming Teix stays healthy??

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        That is possible, as it would keep the DH spot open for others.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        @ scyankee, I don’t think McCann at 1st base even on a very limited bases this year is an option. He’s to valuable of an asset behind the plate this 1st year of a 5 year deal to have him play a position I don’t believe he has ever played.

        @spudchukar, I’m fairly confident that the Yankees as well as the rest of the world will find out the arbitrators decision next week probably early in the week. At least that’s what all the so called experts are calling for. Now that the HOF stuff is all done.

      • cackalackyank - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        @uyf agree completely about McCann at 1B. It gives me the willie’s to think of McCann playing the field other than catcher. Unless someone we haven’t seen before starts taking fielding at 1B another move of some kind would seem to be coming. Besides pitching that is….

    • anxovies - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Actually, in terms of the luxury tax it would have made more sense to move Ichiro someplace else and keep him since he doesn’t count against the cap. Ichiro probably has some value and there is no doubt some team willing to pay at least part of his salary. The fact that they didn’t do that tells you what they think of Well’s abilities. However, I think that the Yankees have given up on the luxury tax for this year so it’s a matter of getting rid of dead wood.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        The Yankees have been trying to move Ichiro according to all reports but no takers yet. You can’t move someone if there are no takers. If Ichiro was DFA the Yankees would still owe him $6.5MM that would count againt their luxury tax number.

      • cackalackyank - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:42 PM

        Additionally, I know most think this is silly, but while you are trying to recruit the best Japanese FA pitcher does not seem the time to cut a Japanese national icon, Ichiro san. Just sayin.

    • 18thstreet - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      I totally called this. I don’t know how to search the archives, but around the time Brian Roberts was announced, I counted the roster slots and saw that there was no spot for Vernon Wells.

      Everyone give me thumbs-down for being a huge jerk about this. But I was right. It happens so rarely. I feel like Colbert. Drop the balloons! I CALLED IT!

      • uyf1950 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        Roberts and Thornton were both announced by the Yankees I believe on Dec. 17th.

      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        A regular Karnak.

      • 18thstreet - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        I’m the best.

  2. fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I had him penciled in @ second base, friggin Yanks.

  3. fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    what about Ichiro, are the D-Backs still kicking the tires on him?

    • karlkolchak - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Nah, they just tooted his horn.

      • southofheaven81 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

        I hope they left him a nice tip, or some cab fare.

      • fanofevilempire - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:37 PM

        did he like that?

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Jan 10, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    how about a reunion for wells and the bluejays? Makes sense on both sides when you think about it, one guy has nothing left to offer and the other team is spinning its wheels in the mud and can’t get out of its own way. Sounds like a no brainer to me

    • Old Gator - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Everything sounds like a no-brainer to you because, after the fashion of a dog in reverse, anything that sounds like a brainer is beyond your hearing range – just as everything you write reveals that you lack anything but wood pulp above your brainstem in the first place.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:27 PM


      • spudchukar - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        Never has wood pulp been so diminished.

      • nbjays - Jan 11, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        Yep harry… “repetition” certainly describes the crap you continue to post. “Mindless repetition” describes it perfectly.

  5. bostonboresme - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:28 PM


    • dylanthom2013 - Jan 10, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      I hear you suck for only $10.

  6. musketmaniac - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    huh, pirates most have missed this one. you would think have think they would have traded him to the buccos for single a reliever, and covered Vernons salary, resurrecting his career. seems like a good system to continue

  7. braxtonrob - Jan 11, 2014 at 6:15 AM

    This just in … Vernon Wells next assignment –

    janitor of the Yankees clubhouse. I think he’s gonna CLEAN up.

  8. jimatkins - Jan 11, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    Before the details of the Angels’ original deal came out, people used to talk about what a great owner Arte Moreno was. Now, not so much. Halos will be paying $18 MM for Vernon’s future minor league deal with somebody willing to pay league minimum in hopes of a career resurrection. Nice move, Owner Boy.

  9. braxtonrob - Jan 11, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    I think many of you don’t realize just how awful this guy’s game has become. I don’t care how young he is, he’s done, mark my words!

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